IDC: Microprocessor shipments down; Intel still leads

The latest numbers from the International Data Corporation reveal that PC microprocessor unit shipments were down worldwide during the second quarter.

The IDC found that microprocessor shipments for mobile, desktop and x86 server declined by 2.9 percent from the first quarter of 2011. However, when compared to the same time last year, the numbers roughly flattened out with a 0.6 percent increase.

But let's not get too hasty with disappointing labels and such. Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC, tried to clear up the perception in a statement, noting that the number of shipments during Q1 2011 was actually unusual:

So the sequential comparison isn't surprising. If we took off that extra week, the performance between the two quarters probably would've seen a seen a slight sequential uptick from 1Q to 2Q.

The obvious leaders during Q2 were Intel and AMD. Intel maintained its strong leadership, but it slipped a little while AMD gained a bit of momentum.

Intel garnered 79.3 percent of the overall worldwide unit market share, down by 1.5 percent compared to the first quarter. In contrast, AMD secured 20.4 percent, which is up 1.5 percent from Q1 2011.

When their forces combined, Intel's Sandy Bridge platform and AMD's Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion microprocessors accounted for more than 60 percent of total PC processor unit volume during the second quarter.

As for the rest of 2011, IDC has reduced its forecast for year-over-year growth in PC microprocessor unit shipments from 10.3 percent to 9.3 percent because of "economic headwinds in developed regions that are affecting consumer PC demand."

In June, market research firm iSuppli reported that Intel also surpassed AMD in the global chip market with an 82.6 percent piece of the pie during Q1 2011. AMD slipped to 10.1 percent overall worldwide.